BERLIN, March 11 (Xinhua) -- The gunman who killed 15 people at a German school was shot dead on Wednesday by police after the shooting spree, police said.
The death toll has risen from previous 10, including nine students and one teacher at the school.
A shootout broke out afterwards when the police tried to catch him, backed by helicopters. Two additional passers-by were killed and two policemen seriously injured, bringing the total death toll to 16 including the gunman, a police spokesman said.
In early reports, the German mass circulation newspaper Bild reported on its website that the attacker killed himself at a park house of a shopping center at about 12:35 local time. His parents reportedly have 18 guns in house.
The killing, which local authorities said was the worst school shooting in Germany in seven years, occurred at 9:30 a.m. local (0830 GMT) time at the Albertville high school in Winnenden near Stuttgart. The gunman later fled the school to the centre Winnenden, a town of 28,000, an eyewitness said.
Earlier reports said the killer, 17-year-old, is a former student of the school with 1,000 students. The school was evacuated immediately after the shooting.
At least ten helicopters are hovering over the scene amid a mass police search, German television reports said.
Police is searching the parents' house of the suspect, the German televion n-tv reported.
Germany has seen several school shootings in past years.
In April 2002, a gunman killed 17 and eventually himself at a high school in the eastern city of Erfurt, which was the worst school shooting recorded in the country.